Chianalea di Scilla, fishing village in Calabria, Italy

The Southern Italian region of Calabria will offer $33,000 USD to people willing to move into one of their tiny villages.

The region of Calabria has been having some population problems as of late. This offer is part of a program to reverse the population decline the region has been experiencing. 75% of the towns and villages in the region have fewer than 5,000 people and the reason for this is an ageing population. The result of this has caused devastation for the local economy and inhabitants wish to remedy this.

This means that you can’t just be anyone if you want to do this. There are a few criteria you have to meet in order to be eligible for the grant. You have to be 40 years-old or younger and commit to either starting up a business there, purchasing an existing one, or be a professional in some capacity that is needed in the local area e.g., a doctor, lawyer etc.

Tropea, Italy

The mayor of Altomonte, Gianpietro Coppola said of the program,

“We want this to be an experiment of social inclusion. Draw people to live in the region, enjoy the settings, spruce up unused town locations such as conference halls and convents with high-speed internet. Uncertain tourism and the one euro houses are not the best ways to revamp Italy’s south.”

This rings especially true when considering the devastation caused to tourism by the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is rather more insular and aims at providing a level of self-sustenance for the south as regional councillor, Gianluca Gallo states,

“The goal is to boost the local economy and breathe new life into small-scale communities. We want to make demand for jobs meet supply, that’s why we’ve asked villages to tell us what type of professionals they’re missing to attract specific workers.”

Applications will be accepted in the coming weeks.